Cheltenham-based Zak’s love of speed was clear from a young age. Zak started karting aged 8 and perfected his racecraft on the kart tracks of Europe. Winning 3 out of his first 5 races, Zak was dubbed “Rain Man” for his speed in the wet.
Zak returned to the UK to race competitively in 2014. Claiming his first championship aged 11, Zak became one of the youngest ever winners of the British Super One Rookie Championship. Later that year Zak won the prestigious British GP Kartmasters Championship.
Zak quickly progressed to the highly competitive arena of European World Karting. In 2017, despite his tender years, Zak finished overall 5th and 12th, out of hundreds of entrants. In 2018, Zak finished a very strong 2nd place in the prestigious DKM championship.
At just 14 years old, 2019 signalled Zak’s move into cars with the Ginetta Junior Championship. He raced on some of the UK’s most renowned racetracks, shadowing the British Touring Car Championship. With a Live TV audience of 20 million and trackside attendance in excess of 380,000, 2019 promised to be an exciting year, and exciting it was!
Zak was placed 2nd in his car racing debut, and went on to record three race wins and a further 11 podiums. He secured the 2019 Ginetta Junior Championship Rookie Cup and 2nd overall, 164 points clear of his next nearest rookie rival. Now a seasoned racer at most UK circuits, Zak moved up into the British F4 Championship in 2020, his first season in single-seaters.
Zak impressed hugely in his maiden F4 season, winning at his first event at Donington Park for Carlin before taking pole and a double victory in the second meeting at Brands Hatch. He was engaged in a fierce battle for the title with Luke Browning for the whole year, only losing out in controversial circumstances in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch.
Zak moved swiftly to confirm his plans for 2021, when he announced he would step up to the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship with Carlin. As Britain's premier single-seater racing series, it runs alongside the British GT Championship and features iconic circuits such as Silverstone GP and Spa-Francorchamps.
In January of 2021 Zak became the youngest-ever BRDC Superstar. The programme spotlights up-and-coming British racing drivers and has impressive alumni including George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon.
Zak went on to have an extremely dominant season in British F3 (later renamed the GB3 Championship). Amassing an impressive seven wins, seven additional podiums and the most poles, most fastest laps and most laps led, Zak stormed his way to championship victory. He ended the season 164 points clear of his nearest opposition. As a result, Zak became the youngest-ever GB3/British F3 Champion and also contributed towards the Team Championship victory for Carlin.
As a prize for winning the GB3 Championship, Zak was awarded a two-day FIA F3 test at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia with his current team Carlin. The test was a huge learning experience for Zak and very productive.
In October 2021 it was revealed that Zak had been selected as a finalist for the renowned Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award (AMABA).
In February of 2022, Zak was announced as a Williams Racing Academy Driver, joining the iconic F1 team ahead of the new season. In his role he helps conduct simulator work and provide effective feedback for car development, with the team supporting Zak’s growth as a driver in return.
It was also revealed that Zak would make the step up to FIA F3 for 2022 with Carlin, a team he had already enjoyed many successes with over the past two years.
Just three days after the news of his Williams Racing signing, Zak attended the delayed 2021 Autosport Awards, where he was crowned winner of the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.
On the day of his 17th birthday he became the 32rd winner of the iconic accolade, following in the footsteps of F1 drivers Lando Norris and George Russell as well as legends such as Jenson Button and David Coulthard.
In his rookie FIA F3 season Zak impressed with a number of strong performances. At the British Grand Prix he achieved a outstanding pole position and podium in front of home crowds, with Williams Racing and Formula 1 themselves sharing his success. In Austria he went on to climb from 20th to 4th in just four laps in the Feature Race after making a genius strategy decision to box for soft tyres. Towards the end of the year Zak achieved his second podium of the season with a solid drive in Zandvoort.
Ultimately, he finished 11th in the championship, out-scoring his teammates and becoming the highest ever finishing Carlin driver in the FIA F3 era.
"I’m fortunate to have worked with many talented drivers, some of which have made it all the way to Formula One. Zak has a fantastic natural talent…I see a very bright future ahead.”
- Trevor Carlin (Team Principal)